Patterico's Pontifications


Interrogation investigations are a farce

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:28 pm

[Posted by Karl]

The New York Times was among those breathlessly reporting:

An internal Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on its findings.

Naturally, unhinged hysterics like Andrew Sullivan find the report — which is not yet public — “damning,” despite the fact that the conclusion flatly contradicts his view that the Bush Administration was filled with war criminals.

The Left is certainly not going to want to hear the truth from Andrew McCarthy:

Yet, even as the OPR report is being finalized, even after Obama declared himself open to the possibility of criminal prosecution against the Bush officials, and even after Holder promised to conduct an investigation that would “follow the evidence wherever it takes us, follow the law wherever that takes us” (emphasis added), the Obama Justice Department is relying on the very same legal analysis in order to urge a federal appeals court to reject torture claims. In fact, as the Obama Justice Department argued to that appeals court a little over a week ago, the torture law analysis in question has already been adopted by another federal appeals court.

Adopted by a whopping 10–3 margin in a decision of the entire Third Circuit federal appeals court sitting en banc, in fact — with full knowledge that they were adopting the 2002 guidance from former DOJ officials John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

But wait, there’s more!  ABC News Correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg reports:

It appears John Yoo cannot be disciplined or disbarred for writing those memos, even if the Office of Professional Responsibility says it has evidence he should be.

That’s because OPR’s five-year investigation—carefully timed for release only as Bush was leaving the White House and Obama was coming in—dragged on too long. As a result of that timing, OPR blew the deadline for referring possible misconduct allegations against Yoo.


And what about Bybee? Now a federal appeals court judge, Bybee is admitted in DC and Nevada—those jurisdictions don’t have comparable limitations periods. But how strange would it be to only refer Bybee, when his involvement largely amounted making a few edits and signing Yoo’s legal work?

Then there’s the report itself. The bar for disciplinary action is incredibly high. Legal ethics experts, like Geoffrey Hazard at the University of Pennyslvania, say they expect nothing to happen, even if the state disciplinary boards were to investigate.

Greenberg then details the degree to which the preparation of the report looks like “old-fashioned politics.”  The only debatable part is “old-fashioned.”  This exercise is part of a much more recent strain called Bush Derangement Syndrome.


47 Responses to “Interrogation investigations are a farce”

  1. Just another argument for the draining of the swamp that exists within the Beltway.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1bed2)

  2. Bush should bear some responsibility for cleaning out DoJ when he took office. He left a bunch of Clinton people there, which cost Scooter Libby dearly. Government employes are going to lean left anyway, why encourage it ?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  3. Mike K., the President can’t “clean out” the career civil service people.

    SPQR (72771e)

  4. So the Obama administration proves once again what lying hypocrites they are – quel surprise. Someone please tell me what part of this signifies hope and change.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  5. #4 – Yes he can. He may not be able to directly hire or fire, but if an employee is caught violating policy, he can be terminated for insubordination.

    Dr. K (e70a2d)

  6. Comment by SPQR — 5/6/2009 @ 2:45 pm

    But, nothing says he has to “feed the beast”.
    A comprehensive performance audit of many facets of the bureaucracy could illuminate who might be better suited to some small field office in Fargo than in their current position in DC.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1bed2)

  7. Just read McCarthy’s piece. My reaction is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IF the Third Circuit adopted the Bybee/Yoo standard in an en banc decision, then it is at least arguable that it is correct.

    The idead that they can be prosecuted or disciplined becomes farcical.

    (By the bye, Andrew McCarthy always impresses me. His columns are generally well reasoned and spot on)

    Bored Lawyer (44ef84)

  8. Indeed, McCarthy is quite sharp and very insightful on the issues of the war on terrorism.

    SPQR (72771e)

  9. TORTURE LOVERS !!!!!!!

    JD (bc5db9)

  10. Andy McCarthy…
    I’m sure that in prosecuting the “Blind Sheik” he learned more about the threat of terrorism than he ever wanted to know.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1bed2)

  11. Where did the torture allegedly take place?

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  12. Torture is so loosely defined by the Obama administration as to render High School Musical 3 torture.

    No, hold on, that’s right.

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  13. Is that actually considered a musical these days? Just checking.

    Where did the torture allegedly take place?

    During a seminar on foreign policy that Biden conducted for Obama’s administrative staff.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  14. Is that actually considered a musical these days? Just checking.

    I don’t know, but the movie, it buurrns!

    Of course this administration is highly politicized. Look at the Chicago Way, politics is everything. It’s classic Marxism.

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  15. I don’t know what you’re talking about – for the past 40+ years of my life here, Chicago’s been nothing but a paragon of political reform and open – mindedness.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  16. Historical note: the old – time corrupt Alderman (that’s pretty much a given, btw) Paddy Bauler, when asked about reform of the Chicago political system back in the 50’s, famously declared that “Chicago ain’t ready for reform!” And it has been ever thus.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  17. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out that Obama is politicizing the Justice Department and trying to make somebody else the fall guy for it in the grand Chicago tradition. It will be Holder’s decision! Sure thing boss. Just like people marvel about Michelle’s arms because they take attention away from her big stomach and hips.

    That was for you VL.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  18. That McCarthy piece is terrible. The only issue he discusses is specific vs. general intent under the CAT. But the OLC analyzed other issues relevant to the interrogation program. The fact that one small piece of their analysis has been adopted by the Obama DOJ and the Third Circuit says nothing about all the other issues in the memos.

    No sanctions will come of this, but not for the reasons McCarthy says.

    To actually criminally convict, you would have to show that the lawyers knew they were giving wrong legal advice. Absent the smokingest of guns, that is impossible to prove.

    There will be no state bar ethics charges because (I assume) such charges would require a showing that no reasonable lawyer could have thought the advice was correct. That is clearly not the case.

    Kirk the Karing (1f2658)

  19. Obama is useless.

    gus (36e9a7)

  20. Can the Warren Court be prosecuted or “disciplined” for the inummerable tortures of innocents that have occured in their wake over the past 37 years?

    Icy Texan (43c637)

  21. Kirk the Watercarrier sure tried hard.
    Perhaps a gold-star for effort.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1bed2)

  22. So, Barcky argues that Bush tortured, but in Court, uses the same framework used by Bush to argue that they did not?

    JD (bc5db9)

  23. There will be no criminalization of policy differences because Obama knows perfectly well that if he re-opens that can of worms, which finally got closed after the Clinton years, he will be as vulnerable to prosecution as Clinton was after 20+ years of Democratic special prosecutors employed against Republicans.

    danebramage (700c93)

  24. Can the Warren Court be prosecuted or “disciplined” for the inummerable tortures of innocents that have occured in their wake over the past 37 years?

    Assuming you’re talking about Roe, that was the Burger Court–Warren Burger and three other Nixon appointees (Blackmun, Powell, and Rehnquist) were on the Court by then.

    M. Scott Eiland (ec9af4)

  25. Partial credit, please (anyway, I was 7 at the time).

    Icy Texan (43c637)

  26. Comment by M. Scott Eiland — 5/6/2009 @ 5:17 pm
    Rehnquist dissented, as did White.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1bed2)

  27. Mike K., the President can’t “clean out” the career civil service people.

    Comment by SPQR

    Partially answered by others but the two DoJ staff that supervised the Plame/Libby investigation were Clinton political appointees. Gonzales got reamed out for trying to clean out dead wood later in the second term. That’ll teach them to get up to speed early and get the bad ones out early.

    Tenet is another one who should have gone. By the time that Goss tried to clean out the stables, the time was gone.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  28. Hey AD, got an actual rebuttal?

    Kirk the Karing (1f2658)

  29. KK, AD tried to provide moral support. He didn’t want to crush your self-image. You’d be scarred for life.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  30. SO, if Yoo could be disbarred for his legal opinions, and Obama & co have adopted Yoo’s positions in court, then cannot Obama & Co be disbarred?

    No, I must be missing something.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  31. I think O would have to be defrocked or deflowered or something.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  32. […] as attempts to “prosecute” Bush-era lawyers and officials self […]

    War and Peace: When the Give Peace a Chance Left Meets Reality « Chockblock’s blog (962ecf)

  33. Andy McCarthy’s writing on just about any subject, but particularly on the law, amply rebuts the nonsense that you have posted.

    Thank you for your entry into the Stupid Chronicles!

    AD - RtR/OS! (a1bed2)

  34. Krull teh Conqueror beclowns himself; this is getting repetitious regarding these drive – by Trolls.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  35. […] morale at the CIA, and the damage we could expect from that.  Apparently, I was not fully aware of Barry’s hidden shallows as evinced by Karl over at Patterico’s.  It seems that Obambi, as ever, is merely playing to the crowd.  Whilst campaigning on, and […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Barack displays hidden shallows (b98ad6)

  36. I’m sure any controversy in this matter will be solved by a repeat performance of Michelle’s arms. Maybe they will be oiled and glisteny, distractingly toned, smashingly bedecked by baubles given her by Mr. Michelle’s Arms. Probably given whilst they trysted in the trees at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Without the Secret Service.

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  37. obama is making sure that good men(women)will not stand and defend this country ever again….now why would he want that?

    J (a5837e)

  38. No one has mentioned that John Demanjuk(SP?) was denied his legal petition not to be extridited to Germany to be tried on War Crimes because they will torture him (waterboard) by Eric Holder who ruled Germany doesn’t torture since they follow these same guidelines that the Obamistas want to hang the Bush lawyers for being approval of torture.

    I wonder why only turncoat talker, Michael Smerconish was the only one to publicize this?

    PCD (02f8c1)

  39. So that’s a big no from AD. What a pathetic bunch.

    Kirk the Karing (1f2658)

  40. Kirk – the lack of response to you is likely due to your apparent lack of good faith, and your desire for discussion seems to be feigned. You did not argue against McCarthy’s points, you called his article terrible and whined about the scope.

    JD (c8f5e6)

  41. The fact that one small piece of their analysis

    Only if you consider the definition of torture to be a “small piece”.

    Mars vs Hollywood (788077)

  42. Not a small piece of the analysis — the heart of the analysis why the enhanced techniques were not “torture” as defined by the US statute or the CAT.

    This is HUGE.

    WLS Shipwrecked (53653f)

  43. Intelligence Report: Pelosi Briefed on Use of Interrogation Tactics in Sept. ’02

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on terrorist suspect Abu Zubaydah in September 2002, according to a report prepared by the Director of National Intelligence’s office and obtained by ABC News.

    Pelosi is toast!

    Stan Switek (9716a0)

  44. But, sweet Nancy still denies knowing anything at all about EIT.
    Does she need to be waterboarded to reveal the truth?

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b2e4f)

  45. […] overwhelmingly upheld, the very legal reasoning Dodd wants Republicans imprisoned for. (HT Karl at Patterico). Or when it dawns on them that it won’t even be possible to have the witches they are […]

    Chris Dodd Picks Up Key Endorsement … From Tehran - CTVoter2010’s blog - RedState (796605)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1498 secs.